Book review – Climate Change by HRH The Prince of Wales

It’s a while since I bought a Ladybird book – but I still have a lot of the original series dotted around the house.

This book, published today, is one of the ‘Expert’ series and the three authors can rightly be classed as such (but even if they weren’t, this book has been peer-reviewed by an impressive panel of scientists).  It is a clear, unstuffy treatment of a very important subject.

We start with the facts about warming of the Earth and where the evidence comes from. What might be, and are already, the impacts on our lives now and on future generations?  Wildlife gets appropriate mentions as an indicator of climate change and also a victim. The book then moves on to solutions – those we can each make individually and those we as communities, nations and as a species need to make together.

This is a Ladybird book – it’s not overloaded with words. If you have a long commute into work you could polish it off on one day with no problem at all.  It’s a slim volume, nicely illustrated and written with admirable clarity.

The illustrations by Ruth Palmer deserve a special mention – they are attractive and very evocative of those of the original Ladybird books.

Judging by its Amazon ranking, this book is flying off the shelves and that must be largely due to the Prince Charles/Ladybird Book combination as few climate change tomes become best sellers.  Royalties from sales go to the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation.

I wonder, would Prince Charles be able to put his name to such a book at some future time when he might be our king? Or would the subject be regarded as too political?  This was a very worthwhile project and the first author’s celebrity status will get the messages to a wider audience than would otherwise be the case.

Theresa May should give a signed copy of this book to President Trump tomorrow.


Climate Change by HRH The Prince of Wales, Tony Juniper and Emily Shuckburgh is published by Michael Joseph.



Remarkable Birds by Mark Avery is published by Thames and Hudson – for reviews see here.

Inglorious: conflict in the uplands by Mark Avery is published by Bloomsbury – for reviews see here.

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20 Replies to “Book review – Climate Change by HRH The Prince of Wales”

  1. I'm disappointed with the Prince Charles connection. I hope Tony Juniper and Emily Shuckburgh had most of the input. Also, why are the profits going to Prince Charles' charity? An environmental organisation would be a better choice.

    1. Paul - if you follow the link then you'll see that it is for environmental work.

      1. If we are talking of the environment and royalty then allow me to quote the French:
        "Le sang des rois rend le sol le plus fertile."

        Now there is a farming initiative I could get behind.

        I'll probably buy the book though. It'll make a nice gift for my nieces.

          1. It is never too early to get kids interested in science. Or too late. Science for everyone! I noticed Amazon sells it along with the Ladybird book of Evolution so I've got that for them too. They are probably still a bit young for Inglorious though Mark, sorry, but in time... Any chance of the Ladybird book on that? 🙂

          2. Random 22
            'Any chance of the Ladybird book on that?'
            No need of the smiley face if you meant it as a joke.
            It an excellent idea. Then and only then can we send it to politicians and and expect them to read it and understand something.
            As an example see RPUK on the response of a Minister's spin doctor today.
            Ladybird books on 'logic', 'honesty' and 'how to answer a question' should be compulsory reading for MPs.

          3. "Ladybird books on 'logic', 'honesty' and 'how to answer a question' should be compulsory reading for MPs."

            I think there is a strong case to be made for all MPs to receive a compulsory training package when they enter Parliament (perhaps with periodic refresher training as well). As well as questions of ethics for those in public office this should include some basic numeracy and the interpretation and appropriate use of statistical information.

            The great majority of MPs have a humanities background and whilst they may be hot on knowing the dates of the reigns of kings and queens of England back to Alfred the Great and beyond they often demonstrate a disturbing lack of understanding of basic science.

  2. Yes, a signed copy for Donald Trump would make a fitting gesture. Perhaps he might even read it, as it's not too long, and proceed to make an intelligent contribution to the problems of the world. He needs to realise, as do his followers, that the USA is only a small part of planet Earth and has no special status in the scheme of things.

    1. I think that is the Trump family standing on the roof of the pharmacy?

  3. Can someone please send a copy to Mr D. Trump or perhaps he doesnt have a sufficient compliment of vocabulary to understand it !

    1. I think for him something from the "For Dummies" range might be more appropriate.

  4. "Theresa May should give a signed copy of this book to President Trump"

    Better yet, arrange a meeting. Donald and Charles would have lots of shared issues to talk about - German ancestry, obscene and ostentatious wealth, bizarre world view, desecration of the British countryside by their inappropriate profiteering developments - they would get along famously. Would the banter get around to homeopathy? Would Messrs Juniper and Shuckburgh provide "The Science" for that, one wonders? A book, perchance, heavily referenced with oodles of pal review. I might be forced to take to Twatface and ask them - if only I could be bovvered. Right now, I'm more concerned that I appear to have run out of popcorn.

  5. Filbert Cobb seems hard and cynical, not without justification, so so be it, but if Prince Charles would make a clear statement on the whole hunting issue and in support of radical reform, followed up by management practice on the Royal estates, it may be a mega U turn or it may be him "coming out" with what he really thinks, but it would certainly get some attention on the issue. He can be radical and now would be good, far better than the blind and arrogant stubbornness of many in the shooting world. Probably better in the shooting and National press than a Ladybird book, but I may be wrong there! Nice little book with a big reach.

    1. Prince Charles uses his privileged position to get involved in issues close to his heart and whether this is 'welcome support' or 'interfering meddling' I guess depends on which issue and where you stand on that issue. As far as shooting is concerned I very much doubt that he will ever provide support to any campaign seeking to address bad practices (let's call them that for now!). He is a fully paid up member of the shooting and hunting fraternity and has spurned many opportunities to condemn criminality on the grouse moors. He is happy to stand up and speak out against elephant poaching in Africa but the plight of the hen harrier within his mother's kingdom apparently leaves him unmoved. I have tried writing to him on the subject but received only a response from a flunky saying it was not possible for HRH to involve himself personally in the issue and referring me instead to the Defra HH action plan which he thought I would be 'encouraged to read' .

  6. "book is flying off the shelves and that must be largely due to the Prince Charles/Ladybird Book"

    Yep - almost got to press without him.

    This latest contribution to the "infantilisation of the adult population" has been much raked-over online - especially the long history of flooding since 1852, and a resident of Uckfield was prompted to observe this, re 2007: "Actually the picture’s not a bad representation of the level of the water on the night, I live near there. For a couple of hours the level was about 6ft up the wall of the shops. The important point is that there have always been floods in Uckfield at least as far back as the 18th century which is why there is so little residential development near the river. The floods are possibly worse now because a road bridge and a Victorian mill constrict the natural flow through the town and a raised railway trackbed along the valley prevents outflow higher up. In other words the modern human activity which for PC seemingly causes disruption of the ecosystem and flooding are, in this case, railways, motoring and corn milling! Let’s get rid of those modern abominations".

    Yes let's. Ghastly things. It really is appalling!

    Nice illustrations though - but the people on the roof are fiction. There is a pitched roof there now. The rescue services may well have employed RIBs in the recent Uckfield floods, but they weren't in use when the shops last had a flat roof. The RIB and crew are (allegedly) lifted from an image from the recent Cumbrian floods. And (Crust?)y Cobb Bakers (no relation) is now a betting shop. Post-truth Rules!

  7. HRH is clearly interested in climate change and flooding but he can't or won't connect this with upland management. Us and them again sadly, but he could rise above it all and set an example. I wonder if he has read "Inglorious"?

  8. Next in the series:

    Hen Harriers
    Why They Are Bad
    And Why You Should Shoot Them
    A Child's Guide

  9. "Wildlife gets appropriate mentions as an indicator of climate change and also a victim."
    I assume there is no mention of any wildlife that benefits from climate change. There are lots of things that do better in a warmer climate. 2016 was "the hottest year eva!". It was also the year with the highest crop production eva! But one never hears anything of this kind of good news in the MSM.


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